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PETROL ENGINES


Guest DAYTONA-BILL

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL

Hi all, i know this might sound like a backward step, but considering that RED deisel is no longer allowed in boats, Does that mean you have to pay road duty as well as VAT, and is the cost now the same as a forecourt pump?. If that is so, would there be any benefits to going back to petrol engines?. I was thinking about the fact that per cc, a petrol engine gives considerably more power, is usually much lighter, much quieter, and cheaper to buy. Whereas if you wanted a similar powered petrol engine to a deisel, you could use a much smaller and lighter cc engine to give the same power. It`s worth tinking about?. Regards...............Neil.

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IMHO Neil, with displacement speed boats, weight is no problem anyway, and as with Cars, I feel much safer carrying a tank of diesel around, rather than petrol.

Indeed, as the boat has a bilge and confined spaces and (naked flame) cooking, I feel much safer ! :)

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Hi Neil,

red is still allowed in boats and still recieves concessions so the riverside price is considerably lower than the forecourt if you buy from the right places.

Goodchilds today 89p litre.

That said the gap has closed to forecourt petrol prices but if you can find petrol riverside it will cost you at least 20% more than the forecourt.

Gerry cans is still the order of the day for petrol but if you can live with that then your other points are all valid. Petrol systems need to be maintianed perfectly or the risks that have been pointed out become very real but I have had 2 petrol boats and can vouch for the advantages, not least they cost about 10k less to buy than the equivelent diesel and on the river are no less ecconomical, quiter, cleaner and to my mind easier to maintain.

That said if you are going to do any where near serious sea work you can not get away from the fact that salt gives them a serious thirst and it is very difficult to find drinking stations for them.

Ian

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Whilst I am a firm advocate for diesel for larger boats and especially if you do much sea work I have to endorse what Ian says.

The safety aspect is a non starter really, the septics put petrol engines in virtually every boat under around 35 feet and there is no evidence that they are any more dangerous than a diesel if maintained correctly, and that’s in the most litigious country on earth. It is surprising the number of folks that are happy to have LPG on board but not petrol when the former is far more likely to accumulate in the bilges if a leak occurs through bad maintenance. As Ian says for a low hp river cruiser which uses little fuel they are cheap, smooth, quiet, not less smelly though, no engine should smell nor should there be any raw fuel smell on any well maintained and tuned boat.

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Guest DAYTONA-BILL

Hi all, thanks for the reply`s. I thought that red deisel had been outlawed on boats now, and that`s why i posted this thread. Obviously i was wrong. I know it`s illegal on mainland Europe as i`ve read an article in Practical boat owner about a British yachtsman that had his tank dipped, and was forced to go to a cash machine WITH AN ARMED DUTCH POLICE OFFICER to pay the duty, on his tanks maximum capacity, and NOT on what he had in the tank. I`m sure the Government were trying to get it outlawed under Eropean law some time last year. Does anybody know whats happening about it?. Regards...............Neil. :?:?:?

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"there is no evidence that they are any more dangerous than a diesel if maintained correctly"

Yes, can't deny that, or yes, they wouldn't be allowed.

They're still more inherently dangerous in a boat though, needing additional safety measures, such as engine compartment extractor fans in case there's any petrol vapour present when starting, for instance, (not required at all in diesel boats). :)

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Regarding red derv, and I know I've said it before (somewhere?), how do we know what "quality" of derv we're getting?

I guess your average garage forecourt sells more derv in a day than most yards/marinas sell in a year. So, given the buying power of the big road garages for white/road derv, surely we can't expect the same quality for red derv at say £0.98/lt from yards? Yes, we might be getting ULSD but, having spoken to a Shell rep for the marine side a while ago, the quality of red derv was a million miles off white road derv.

Also found this which makes for interesting reading http://www.docstoc.com/docs/27950550/Qu ... Red-Diesel

This brings me onto Neil's OP - my next boat will be around the 20 foot mark and will be trailored, so I guess it'll either be a petrol outboard or small stern drive. I used to have major safety issues with petrol boats but, as Ian has said, petrol can make sense depending on how you want to use the boat.

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"there is no evidence that they are any more dangerous than a diesel if maintained correctly"

Yes, can't deny that, or yes, they wouldn't be allowed.

They're still more inherently dangerous in a boat though, needing additional safety measures, such as engine compartment extractor fans in case there's any petrol vapour present when starting, for instance, (not required at all in diesel boats). :)

There is a BSS safety warning current regarding petrol

http://www.broads-authority.gov.uk/broa ... _FINAL.pdf

"In the past six years the BSS has recorded 34 incidents of fire or explosion linked to petrol engines on inland waterways and coastal boats. 31 people needed hospital treatment, including some in intensive care. In the same period, seven incidents of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning have been linked to generators and outboard motor exhaust fumes."

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Numbers in isolation are a bit misleading though, I wouldn't be surprised if a number of these incidents were caused by spillage during filling from jerry cans, poor maintainance or operator error and a large number are probably minor incidents. Like LPG, use the stuff right and it's safe, be cavalier about it and it can go bang.

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Yes, that's what I meant by "inherently" dangerous, if you spill diesel while refueling, you just end up with a sticky mess to clean up.

It's not even flammable, let alone explosive, at ambient temperatures and pressures. :)

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Putting aside the safety issues for a moment, petrol engines IME are more likely to give problems due to damp and corrosion as far the electrical ignition side goes. After all, what worse place could you have for a petrol engine than in a damp atmosphere in a boat on the water.

Back to the safety side - many boats such as Freemans and Seamasters with the good old Watermota petrol engine have been around for years and haven't blown up.

A few years back, a Seamaster did blow up at Penton Hook marina on the Thames whilst re-fuelling with petrol but the cause was found to be electrical. Petrol fumes in the bilge were ignited by a spark from the electrical starting circuit. The shock from the blast was felt over a mile away but fortunately there were no fatalities.

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I would say the most dangerous petrol engine is the one the most people carry.

My Boat system is totally maintained and fully leak proof, my fuel is carried in proper metal Gerry cans, I transfer the fuel using a proper petrol rated jiggle syphon tube to ensure that the can remains upright and none gets spilled, all the boat windows are closed during filling and no cooking is allowed.

My outboard has a fully certified separate tank which cost a fortune and is useless, the seal around the outlet leaks no matter how much I try and stop it and it swells up like an orange if you let it get warm with the vent shut. On top of that my outboard has a carb that fills with petrol.

I am very aware of the dangers of petrol and it is for that reason that the fuel is run off from the outboard before it is stopped and put in the engine bay and the tank is carried in a fully vented locker that is separate from the accommodation and drained overboard. How many boats on the broads with a tender carry their petrol supply for the outboard, or for that matter generator (which seems to be where the posted link starts, with generators and power tools) on board and in a position where any spills will sit in the bilges?

As David says most of those that say they would not have petrol on board are quite happy to have LPG and the likely hood of a leak from that is probably far higher and even more likely to explode.

SetFair posted while I was writing this so just to add, all ignition systems, starters and alternators for petrol boats are spark protected, it is when someone changes them for car parts that this becomes a problem and as to reliability, unless you are going to poor water over your engines I would say that petrol engines have less electrikery bits on them than modern diesels, certainly have never had a problem with either this or my last boat through damp. Would agree that if you are going to get the engine bay under water that the diesels will probably keep running a bit longer.

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Indeed SF, possibly another example of poor maintenance or scrimping. Anybody with petrol engines PLEASE remember do not use equivalent car starter or alternators as a cheaper replacement and regularly check the tightness of all electrics in the engine bay. The correct parts are not just “marine priced†car stuff, they differ in that they have spark arresting devices in them, that is not to say that they have no sparks inside but any vapour inside them that ignites is contained within the unit and can’t get out. The same is true of air filters (actually called flame arrestors) on carbs, they are designed to contain a backfire within the engine.

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"it does tend to assist in natural selection." :lol:

once again, I wasn't taking the wider view. :)

I agree about the portable tanks as well.

I had a Hardy once, and the 25 litre plastic tank was about 30" away from the gas cooker in the cockpit. (the furthest it could go). :o

I always tried to remember to screw the filler vent down whenever doing some toast.......

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